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BROOKLYN–On Friday November 18th internationally acclaimed urban planner Jan Gehl visited downtown Brooklyn, including Metrotech, Fulton Mall, Atlantic Terminal Mall, Atlantic Center Mall, and the site of Forest City Ratner's "Atlantic Yards" plan. He commented on public space and the transportation infrastructure in downtown Brooklyn.

Jan Gehl is a Danish architect, Professor of Urban Design and Director of the Center for Public Space Research at the School of Architecture, Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen. He is author of several books including Life Between Buildings and the Public Spaces and Public Life series. He has designed projects around the world and specializes in the planning of public spaces.

Jan Gehl's CV

More on Jan Gehl from the Project for Public Spaces

Below are links to photos from the day's tour:

Professor Gehl brings Danish to the Cheesecake capitol of the world

In the middle of Fulton Mall

Pondering Metrotech's Plan map

Surrounded by Metrotech

Architectural giants

At Ratner's Atlantic Center Mall

Pondering "Atlantic Yards" at Atlantic Center Mall's Target


Some of Professor Gehl's comments upon seeing Frank Gehry's models for "Atlantic Yards":

Looking at the Frank Gehry design:
"Is that really the plan??! That could only be good from an airplane"

"Its a series of monuments."

"Its not what should be built in a city like New York"

"This is not an obvious place for an arena." (said with knowledge of the transportation hub)

"Density in cities is very important, but it can be done well and it can be done poorly."

on the Gehry plan "These buildings are not human scale, they are designed for elephants and dinosaurs."

"Often now developers who have large scale development plans hire 'starchitects' for their projects, so that when communities oppose or criticize the plans, they can then be called philistines or anti-architecture."